Museum fur Musikinstrumente der Universitat Leipzig

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Curator: Markus Brosig

Leipzig has one of the worlds best in-tact collections of original Bartolomeo Cristofori keyboard instruments.

The comparison of condition between the instrument at The Academia in Florence and the one in Leipzig.This is not a commentary on how recent or even past conservation methods have been used but how two instruments from the  same maker (Cristofori oval spinet 1693)  have endured the ravages of time and  neglect.

Florence instrument above, Leipzig below

This collection is not only important for the extensive collection of original Cristofori’s, but the condition they are in.

Bartolomeo Cristofori was an Italian maker of musical instruments famous for inventing the piano.

Considering- over the last 100 years, two worlds wars, then post second world war Leipzig was in the eastern area of Germany under Soviet control. My question was- how did they survive to be in such remarkable condition? (Many  didn’t)

The issue was more than how they survived the history of direct conflict in this area but how did the instruments survive the Soviet era.

“Informed passion” Men and Women who recognised the significant value and importance of these instruments and through personal intervention to rescue and or preserve, by aiming for conservation not restoration as their goal, ie: possible lack of informed skills, incorrect methods or restrictive equipment or budget may have ruined or destroyed important information. Thanks to these wise and passionate people operating in this era, we can observe and investigate information still held by these instruments.

One of only 2 original Cristofori’s of this type left in the world


Technician Anne Jacobsen, Curator Marcus Brosig

Careful and meticulous cleaning ensuring that little or no original material is removed during cleaning of this keyboard